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Sep 29, 2006
2005 Ethiopia DHS results reveal lower HIV prevalence than previous estimates

Calverton, MD. The Central Statistical Agency along with the Ministry of Health released the results of the 2005 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey in Addis Ababa on Monday, September 18th. The major results include an HIV prevalence rate of 1.9 percent, improvements in child health, stagnation in women’s health, and a large increase in the use of family planning.

DHS HIV Prevalence Lower Than Antenatal Care Sentinel Surveillance

According to the just released 2005 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS), 1.4 percent of Ethiopians age 15-49 are HIV-positive. This means that about one million Ethiopians have HIV. Women are twice as likely as men to be infected with HIV— 1.9 percent of women are HIV-positive compared to 0.9 percent of men. Women and men living in urban areas are at especially high risk; almost 6 percent of adults in urban areas are HIV positive, while less than 1 percent of rural residents age 15-49 are HIV infected.

Contrary to many beliefs, HIV prevalence is highest among women and men with secondary or higher education, and among those living in the wealthiest households. More than 3 percent of adults age 15-49 with secondary or higher education are HIV-positive compared to less than 1 percent among those with no education. Similarly, 4.3 percent of adults in the wealthiest households have HIV compared to only 0.5 percent in the poorest households.

Knowledge of HIV prevention is lower in Ethiopia than in neighboring countries. Only 40 percent of women and 64 percent of men know that using a condom during sexual intercourse can help reduce the risk of getting HIV/AIDS. About 60 percent of women and 80 percent of men know that limiting sex to one faithful, uninfected partner reduces the chance of getting AIDS. The same percentages know that abstinence reduces the risk of AIDS.

Although many women and men are not aware of ways to reduce the risk of getting HIV, few Ethiopians engage in higher-risk sexual behaviours. Only 1 percent of women and 4 percent of men reported having more than one sexual partner during the year before the survey, and only 3 percent of women and 9 percent of men had sexual intercourse with a nonmarital, noncohabiting partner. However, among those who did have higher-risk sexual intercourse, only about one-quarter of women and one-half of men used a condom.

The 2005 Ethiopian ANC prevalence rate is reported at 3.5 percent. This represents the prevalence rate of pregnant women attending antenatal care sites.

Child Health Improves; Mother’s Health Lags Behind

According to the newly released 2005 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS), significantly more Ethiopian infants are living to see their first birthday today than five years ago. Infant mortality is now 77 deaths per 1,000 live births, while five years ago infant mortality was 97 deaths per 1,000 live births.

In addition, more children are living beyond their first year. The 2005 EDHS revealed a mortality rate for children under five years of 123 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with a rate of 166 five years ago. Yet despite this improvement, one in every eight children in Ethiopia dies before the fifth birthday.

Vaccination coverage has also improved in the last 5 years. Currently 20 percent of children under age 12-23 months have received all vaccinations against the six major causes of childhood death: tuberculosis, measles, polio, diphtheria, whopping cough, and tetanus. Five years ago only 14 percent of children had received these same vaccines. Still, 24 percent of children have not received any of these essential vaccines. Vaccination coverage varies dramatically by region, from a high of 70 percent in Addis Ababa to less than 1 percent in Afar.

Children’s nutrition continues to be a major problem in Ethiopia. Almost half (47 percent) of children under age 5 are stunted, meaning that they are too short for their age. This is a sign of chronic malnutrition. Stunting has decreased only slightly in the last 5 years, from 52% in 2000.

Maternal health has not improved much in the past 5 years. Just over one-quarter of mothers received antenatal care from a health professional, and only 6 percent received this care before their sixth month of pregnancy, as recommended. Over 90 percent of women deliver their babies at home, without the assistance of a health care professional. Most deliveries are attended by relatives or friends. Postnatal care is an essential service, especially for women who deliver at home. However, only 6 percent of women received postnatal care from a health professional.

Both women and children are vulnerable to malaria, only 6 percent of households in Ethiopia own a mosquito net and only 3 percent own an insecticide-treated net.

Family Planning Use More than Doubles

Use of modern methods of family planning by married women has more than doubled in Ethiopia in the last five years, from 6 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2005, according to the 2005 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey. This is primarily due to the increase in the use of injectable contraceptives. Injectables and pills are the most popular modern methods today, with 10 percent and 3 percent of married women using each method.

Despite the increase in family planning use there is still a sizable unmet need ? 42 percent of married women report that they want no more children and another 35 percent would like to wait at least 2 years before having their next child, yet only 15 percent of these same women are currently using any form of family planning. In all, one-third of married women have an unmet need for family planning.

The average Ethiopian woman will have 5.4 children in her lifetime according to the 2005 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS), a one child drop in the last 15 years. Despite a large decline in urban fertility, the total decline in the last five years is less obvious, due to little change in rural fertility. Fertility is much higher in rural areas where women have an average of 6 children, than in urban areas, where women have only about 2.4 children. Fertility also differs by region, with women in Oromiya having 6.2 children and women in Addis Ababa having an average of only 1.4 children.

DHS Survey Information:

The 2005 EDHS is based on interviews with over 14,000 women and over 6,000 men. The survey was carried out by the Central Statistical Agency and funded by the Government of Ethiopia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Dutch and Irish Governments, and UNFPA. Technical assistance for the survey was provided by ORC Macro, a U.S.-based company. The 2005 EDHS is the second national survey carried out through the MEASURE DHS project.